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Major Problems On Harlem Line After Metro-North Train Hits Fallen Tree

HAWTHORNE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The first axle of a Metro-North train on the Harlem Line went off the tracks after it struck a fallen tree in Westchester County on Monday, according to the railroad.

As CBS2s's Lou Young reported, crushed winter wood peeked from beneath the steel wheels of the Metro-North train after the accident. The Manhattan-bound train hit the tree around noon north of the Hawthorne station, railroad spokesman Aaron Donovan said.

No injuries were reported, but service was hampered for hours on the railroad's Harlem line as crews worked to rerail the train car. As of 11 p.m., the rerailing process continued.

More than 200 passengers were transferred to a relief train.

Passenger Brooke Kallstrom said she and her fellow passengers were on her way to Grand Central Station when their commute went haywire.

"It was a little bit of a bump," Kallstrom said. "It was a disconcerting noise, but it wasn't enough to really shake you off your feet."

As derailments go, it was fairly benign. It took roughly an hour to pull a relief train alongside to remove the stranded passengers.

"One set of wheels is off," said Metro-North police Lt. Joseph Esposito. "We transferred 212 customers from this train to the new train. No Injuries."

But there was also no service on the affected section of the Harlem Line for most of the afternoon.

The view from Drone Force 2 showed the six-car train as it sat just north of the Hawthorne station.

The railroad set up bus service seven miles south of the derailment, busing homebound commuters past the site for the early part of the evening rush. For many, it was an unpleasant surprise.

"They didn't say anything on the train," one rider said. "They just said the train's on again at North White Plains."

Taxis swooped in to make a killing off the impatient. One driver took a delayed passenger home to Purdy's in northeast Westchester County for $65.

"The problem with the bus is it can take forever, and a lot of times, the drivers don't know where they're going," a passenger said.

Service on the line was expected to be back to normal for the morning commute.

There were also delays on the New Haven Line Monday due to fallen trees in the area of Old Greenwich and delays on the Danbury branch because of a downed tree near Branchville

For more information, click here.

The Long Island Rail Road was also snagged by damage stemming from the windy weather.

A utility pole came down in on the Babylon Branch in Massapequa Park late Monday afternoon, prompting a suspension of service in both directions.

By 10:30 p.m., LIRR service on the Babylon Branch had been restored with residual delays.


A downed tree was also to blame for an early morning service suspension on NJ TRANSIT's Morris and Essex line.

Morris County director of emergency management Jeffrey Paul said Monday the fallen tree knocked out power. NJ TRANSIT tweeted photo showing a tree lying across power lines in Morris Plains.

Service was later restored. The Morris and Essex line runs from Hackettstown to New York Penn Station.

Meanwhile, NJ TRANSIT says Gladstone service remains suspended in both directions due to a fallen tree on overhead wires at Bernardsville.

NJ TRANSIT rail tickets and passes are being cross-honored with Lakeland bus and private carriers. For more information, click here.

A wind advisory was in effect until 6 p.m. for much of the area and a high wind warning was issued for parts of the Jersey coast.

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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